THE gentlemen songsters did MD Justin Parker proud when he conducted them for the last time, with excellent performances of popular songs, and some new to the choir.

The men in red entered la Peter Kay and friends to the strains of Is This the Way To Amarillo, which got the programme off to a happy start.

Deputy MD Harry Lewis compered the programme, and at times recounted some of Justin's caustic remarks to the choir in rehearsal, which were worthy of the master of such barbs, Sir Thomas Beecham.

My favourites from the choir were an unusual arrangement of Alexander's Rag-Time Band, Kwmbayah, Bring Him Home from Les Miserables and the unaccompanied Comrades in Arms. Once again the choir demonstrated their verbal dexterity by singing in Welsh and also in Platt-Deutsch (low German), and showed their versatility with such contrasting items as the gentle Calm is the Sea, and the voluminous Zadok The Priest.

The Quatro Gento, aka Steve Singleton, Peter Burns, Justin and Harry, performed a lovely version of All I Have to Do is Dream, Yesterday, when Justin took the solo, and a rapidly accelerating Dashing Away with the Smoothing Iron.

Guest artiste John Hudson, from the English National Opera, proved very popular with the audience.

Among the gems he performed were Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal by Roger Quilter, based on a Tennyson poem, Maria from West Side Story, and Nessun Dorma, the audience joining in the latter. One of the highlights was a surprise to Justin, as the choir parodied My Way, which became Your Way, dedicated to their retiring leader. The encore - what else? Thank You for the Music. Yes, thank you Justin for all the music, and for the pleasure you have given us in the many concerts you have conducted. VJS